It’s been a tradition for Mercedes-Benz cars to serve as the official safety and medical cars during the FIA Formula One World Championship, but 60 years after, the tradition is about to break. Aston Martin today revealed the Vantage as a safety car and its first SUV, the DBX as the medical car for use in the 2021 season. The Mercedes-AMG will continue as well.
A specially equipped version of the Aston Martin Vantage has been developed for the critical role of intervening and controlling the pace of an event involving the fastest racing cars in the world.
Engineered at Aston Martin’s Headquarters in Gaydon, the car benefits from significant chassis and aerodynamic improvements. The Vantage has been given a few additional modifications to make it FIA compliant.
Aston Martin Vantage as Official Safety Car of Formula 1
Piloted by FIA’s appointed driver, Bernd Mayländer (DE) who has been at the helm of the F1 safety car for over twenty years, the Aston Martin will remain on standby in the pit lane throughout the race.
When deployed by Race Control in the event of bad weather or an accident, the former race driver and co-driver, Richard Darker (UK) will take to the track at the head of the field to safely control the pace of the pack, neutralising the event and allowing any incident to be managed safely by the circuit’s officials.
F1 tyre temperatures can drop when the cars are running at sub-optimal speeds, therefore fast lap times are essential for the Official Safety Car of Formula 1. This responsibility led Aston Martin Lagonda CEO, Tobias Moers to task the engineering team with enhancing the Vantage.
Power has increased by 25PS to 535PS, delivered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 delivering significant performance capability going from 0-100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds. 685Nm of peak torque remains the same but is now sustained for longer, and with additional work on the transmission means the driver has a better sense of directness, precision, and control through upshifts and downshifts.
Aston Martin DBX as an Official Medical Car of Formula 1
Aston Martin DBX will also share the Official Medical Car of Formula 1 responsibilities this season, driven by Alan van der Merwe (41, South Africa). Like the safety car, the medical car is distinguishable by its 2021 Aston Martin Racing Green paint with Lime Green accents – as well as the prominent FIA medical car livery, LED rear number plate and roof-mounted LED light-bar which sits upon the roof rails.
Powered by the 4-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine, also found in DB11 and Vantage, DBX provides an impressive output of 550PS and 700NM of torque which launches DBX from 0 to 62mph in just 4.5 seconds, reaching a top speed of 181mph.
The Official Medical Car of Formula 1 is required to carry a substantial amount of equipment including a large medical bag, a defibrillator, two fire extinguishers and a burn kit – and the DBX is more than equipped with 632 litres of boot space.